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Prior art search tools on the Internet and legal status of the results: a European Patent Office perspective


  • Archontopoulos, Eugenio


Retrieving relevant prior art from the Internet has become an important aspect of the search procedure at the European Patent Office, concerning all fields of technology. This article offers not only an overview of the tools available to the examiners, but also a detailed insight of the potentiality of such on-line searching for applicants and representatives, for efficiently identifying and retrieving pertinent documents by means of the existing search tools. Further, particular legal aspects in relation to Internet citations are presented, in the light of some decisions of the Technical Board of Appeal, with emphasis given to the issues related to the date of availability to the public of an Internet disclosure, its conformance and its possibly non-prejudicial nature.

Suggested Citation

  • Archontopoulos, Eugenio, 2004. "Prior art search tools on the Internet and legal status of the results: a European Patent Office perspective," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 113-121, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:26:y:2004:i:2:p:113-121

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